Stretching concepts: The role of competing pressures and decoupling in the evolution of organization concepts

S. Heusinkveld, J.G.J.M. Benders, B. Hillebrand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To contribute to the understanding of the evolution of organization concepts, this article focuses on how consultants respond to competing pressures during the maturity and decline phases of an initially popular concept. Management consultants are important fashion setters, but the actual strategies they use to deal with the pressures to remain legitimate, increase efficiency and differentiate themselves from competitors remain unclear. Such supply-side dynamics likely influence how organization concepts evolve and are relevant for understanding how management knowledge may survive a fashion boom and bust. Using interview and print media data from 32 consultants from 14 consultancies, we identify seven response strategies, and show how these are associated with multiple pressures, and comprise different implications for the evolution of a concept. We argue that this variety of responses is essential to better understand the evolution of organization concepts and opens several fruitful research directions.
Keywords: institutional theory, management consultancies, management fashion, organization concepts, response strategy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-32
JournalOrganization Studies
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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